Tag Archives: christmas

Keeping Christ in Christmas | Guest Post

Keep Christ in Christmas this year with these simple tips!

Christmas has always, always been my favorite holiday by far! It used to be because of no school, snow, and presents. But, as I’ve grown up, especially after moving to Utah for college and being so close to Temple Square during the holidays, it’s become more about the spirit of Christmas–family, love, giving, service, friends, and Christ.  Today, my friend, Karen talks about how to keep Christ in Christmas.


Hello, friends of Tayler and The Morrell Tale! I’m very excited to be a guest today, sharing some thoughts on how to keep Christ in Christmas.

Keep Christ in Christmas this year with these simple tips!

Christmas is different for everyone. Some look forward to it all year long, while others just want to pull the covers over their heads and sleep from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, I think many of us can agree that it gets difficult to keep our focus on the real purpose of this time of year. With so many distractions competing for our attention, here are four ways you can remember Christ and keep the spirit of Christmas with you.

1. Serve others in meaningful ways.

I know people get more generous at Christmastime. Tips get a little bigger. Donations are higher. Gifts are abundant. These are all great things. But you can truly feel the spirit of Christ when you do more than toss a few dollars into a bucket or clean out that coat closet. Find a soup kitchen where you can go and serve meals. Help pack up boxes to send to the troops. Participate in an adopt-a-family type event and bring Christmas to a family that would otherwise go without.

When it comes to finding ways to give service, there are endless options. And each one will touch someone’s life, while also helping you feel the love our Savior has for each of us.

2. Enjoy Christ-centered entertainment.

“Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” is definitely a fun tune. So are “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The jury is mixed on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” And there is plenty of room for all of those wintery songs. But when it comes time to really focusing on Christ’s birth, you can’t go wrong by choosing music that focuses on that miracle. The album O Holy Night by the Millennial Choirs and Orchestra is a great way to get started.

In addition, watching movies and specials that focus on the spirit of Christmas will help set the tone. Netflix and Hulu have some great options right now.

3. Focus on your gift recipients, rather than on the gifts.

There is an ever-increasing number of complaints about how consumerism has taken over Christmas. And for many people, that is true. Some respond by refusing to give gifts altogether, or by doing so only grudgingly. The thing is, Christmas gift-giving isn’t inherently bad. It’s all about your attitude. Instead of hurrying through a long list of wish lists, spend some time thinking about each recipient, and what would be special to them. Take the opportunity to ponder your relationships, their personalities, their needs and wants. And then choose gifts that are meaningful. You might be surprised how this impacts your feelings about gift-giving in general. Plus, it helps to remember that we love our friends and family just as much as our Savior does.

4. Read or tell the Nativity Story.

One tradition I miss from my childhood is one that happened every night on Christmas Eve. My mom would gather us kids under the Christmas tree, beside the Nativity Scene that was always placed in a prominent place, and she told us the Nativity Story.

If you don’t feel comfortable reciting it, open up Luke 2 and read the account straight from the Bible. Spend some time on Christmas Eve thinking about the real reasons we celebrate Christmas. This will help you go into Christmas morning with a positive attitude, and hopefully a little extra love for your family.

What are some of your tips for keeping Christ in Christmas?

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Karen Peterson is a blogger, traveler, and movie critic loving life in Southern California. Her hobbies include watching too many movies, binging too much television, and winning arguments on Twitter. When she’s not stirring up trouble online, she can often be found in the Dole Whip line at Disneyland, or attempting to catch free t-shirts at Angels baseball games.
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Rice Krispie Wreaths

Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!

love Rice Krispie Treats. Seriously. They do not last long at all in our house…not even 12 hours! The night they are made, they are all gone before we go to bed. Growing up, my mom always would make plates of holiday goodies to take to neighbors. We weren’t really allowed to help make the goodies, but we definitely helped set up the plates (and eat the leftovers). Besides fudge, which I still need to make for the first time ever sometime, Rice Krispie Wreaths were my favorite treat.

I decided that since it is Christmas time, and Rhys is old enough to enjoy helping me bake and cook, that I would make some with him. I mean, it’s Rice Krispies, M&Ms, marshmallows, and green food dye…what 2.5 year old wouldn’t have fun with this treat?

However, funny story…we went to Wal-Mart to get some food dye…I couldn’t find it! Typically, they are stored by the cupcake decorating stuff. Well, every kind of food coloring dye texture and color was there except for the normal, staple of red/yellow/blue/green drops. I got super frustrated. Then, I went to the opposite end of the aisle, near the spices, and lo and behold, right next to the lemon and lime zest drops was the food coloring dye!

Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!

Rice Krispie Wreaths
Author: 
Recipe type: Holiday Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies, or Corn Flakes, or Special K
  • 10 oz marshmallows (4 cups)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • red M&Ms
  • green food dye
Instructions
  1. Buy a small bag of holiday M&Ms. Have your toddler help separate the colors. You only need the reds...eat the rest!
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot on medium-low heat. Pour in the marshmallows and stir until they melt.
  3. Pour in anywhere between 8-20 drops of food dye. The more, the darker green. I only did about 10 drops, and it came out this light green.
  4. When everything is melted, take the pot off the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies.
  5. Lather your hands in butter and grab handfuls of the Rice Krispies. Mold into wreath shape and make sure you pinch and squeeze them tight, or they will just fall apart when they cool. Decorate with four red M&Ms.
  6. Let cool for about an hour or two and enjoy!

Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!

Rhys had so much fun sorting the M&Ms (and really just eating the M&Ms.). He also thought it was cool to watch the mixture turn green with the dye. He was also a very good helper putting the M&Ms on the wreaths.

We made these last night, and just like I mentioned about me and Rice Krispie treats in the beginning…there aren’t any left. Haha. Don’t worry..Rhys and Justin helped eat them…I didn’t devour them all!

Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!Easy, quick, and fun holiday treat tradition to do with your littles! Delicious Rice Krispie Wreaths are a great and tasty way to share the holiday spirit with the ones you love!Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

DIY Winter Pine Ornament

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

I love creating my own ornaments. Thank you so much to my Mother-in-law who got me into making them every year for her annual DIY Christmas ornament exchange. This year, I decided I wanted a minimalist ornament and something that reminded me of Utah. Since we wont have any snow here in Texas, nor pines in a close proximity, I decided to make a winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Supplies:

24 plastic (or glass) clear ornaments

5-7 picks of frosted pine– similar to THIS product

1 bag of fake snow

3 spools of ribbon

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions:

  1. Cut off all the sprigs of frosted pine branch picks.
  2. Stuff the sprig into the top of the ornament.
  3. Funnel in some fake snow and then place the lid back on.
  4. Tie on some ribbon to make a cute bow.

See. It’s super easy! It seriously took me maybe thirty minutes to complete all two dozen!

Here are my previous ornament DIYs.

2015 “A Savior is Born” ornament

2014 Santa’s Lost Sleigh Bell ornament

2013 Christmas Song Lyrics ornament

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Intentional December 2016 Goals

It's the last month of the year. Stay intentional with your goals in December!

It is the last month of the year. The last month to really focus on my mission statement for this year: Be Intentional, Have Contentment, and Bloom Where You Are Planted. Before I go over November’s goals and share this month’s goals with you, I wanted to look back over the year and see how I’ve done.

Overall, I think I have done a really good job keeping these things in mind. I didn’t set New Year’s Resolutions because I wanted to do monthly goals. I knew that would help me concentrate and keep my mission statement alive. Although there were some months that I did pretty poorly with my goals, as well as being content, intentional, and blooming where I was planted, I have to say that overall, I did a good job. This was a tough year: moving in with my parents, Justin losing a job, getting pregnant at a bad time (although we didn’t know it at the time), moving to Texas away from family, having a hard pregnancy. But, we’ve come through happy. I feel more content that I have in a long time. I have friends here in Texas and feel that I am blossoming. I also try to be intentional with my time…although sometimes that’s super hard this pregnancy. But, I want to consider this year a success with my mission statement.

Even though I didn’t set any resolutions, I did have year long goals I wanted to achieve with my blog:

1) I want to get all my social media platforms to at least 500 followers each. | I got close…Instagram and Pinterest are about 450 followers…but, I really didn’t focus to much on intentional growth, really, just organic growth.
2) I want to start offering different variations and levels of virtual assisting, | I signed up for UpWork and have been making about $200 a month being a virtual assistant to BeYOUtifully Made, doing some blog designing, and writing a lot of freelance articles. I’ve even opened up an Etsy shop! I know that’s not virtual assisting or freelancing, but it is a work from home “business.”
3) I want to successfully run a blogger exchange, as well as a link up. | Didn’t attempt this…I’ll try next year.
4) I want to transfer to WordPress. 5) I want to redesign my blog–on my own. | I’m putting these two together because they both did get done, but I didn’t do them. Madison from Grace and Vine Studios transferred me over to WordPress and redesigned my blog for me in February. I loved it! She also kept with me for a while after, giving me tips and advice as I helped April from BeYOUtifully Made transfer her blog over as well (and I redesigned it for her).
6) I want to improve my blog photography and image creation skills. | Organically, I have. I’m being more intentional with my photos and some easy photoshopping through online programs. I have also focused a lot on image creation skills by making a lot of prints and opening my Etsy shop.
It's the last month of the year. Stay intentional with your goals in December!

How I Did in November

Blogging & Work

Make and complete plan for opening my Etsy shop. | Complete: The Morrell Tale Design is open for business! Make sure you check out this giveaway–Friday the 1st is the last day to enter!!

Earn $300 in freelancing. | No…closer to $200. But, that’s ok. Some months are going to be slower than others.

Stay caught up with blogging and free lancing. | Off and on.

Health

Workout 3x a week for at least 20 minutes | Nope nope nope. I’ve had a lot of pain this past month…and a lot of fatigue. But, I did do a lot of walking….

NO SNACKS AFTER RHYS GOES TO BED | Nope nope nope nope nope. I suck at this.

Marriage & Family

Finish Morrell ornaments | Complete! Once my MIL sends us all our packages, I’ll share my ornament and the “How-To” on the blog…in the next week and a half!

Try 2 new recipes | Nope. But Justin did with cooking our first Thanksgiving turkey! It’s the first year in our married life that we didn’t go to family for Thanksgiving dinner.

Make a nesting list and schedule it out to prepare for Evelyn | Done, and I’ve started to check some of it off.

3x tot school a week with Rhys | No, but I did create two file folder games for him…I’ll be making a lot more and will launch a whole line after the new year on my Etsy shop!

2x a week game night with Justin | We did very well with this the second half of the month–just about every night we played either Rummikub or Mario Party.

Personal & Religious

Finish the Old Testament | Done! Now working on Preach My Gospel before I head into the New Testament. My goal is to be done by February.

Finish 4 books. | Done! Did 4.5! Here are the book reviews!

Order a 2017 planner | Done! Last year I used Passion Planner, this year I used Erin Condren, and now next year I’m going to use Plum Paper!

December Goals

Blogging & Work

  • Get up to 200 followers on my Etsy shop’s Instagram
  • Get up to 100 favorites for my Etsy shop
  • Get at least 5 bloggers to collaborate with me for my Etsy shop–sign up here if you are interested!
  • Make at least $250 freelancing
  • Get all of January posts ready–which includes finding guest bloggers for my “maternity leave”

Health

  • Exercise or walk at least 15 minutes straight for 3 times a week
  • Don’t go over 200 pounds before having this baby!
  • Have a healthy delivery
  • No more Pepsi and cut down on sweets (I know that’s going to be super hard during the Christmas holiday)

Marriage & Family

  • Have game night or intentional bonding time with Justin 3x a week
  • Have a big date before the baby comes
  • Spend at least 30 minutes of intentional electronic-free time with Rhys each day
  • Finish deep scrubbing and organizing the house and setting everything up for Evelyn’s arrival

Personal and Religious

  • Write in my journal every Sunday, if not more during the week
  • Write at least one thought down during scripture study each day
  • Teach Rhys about the Nativity story and the true meaning of Christmas

What are your goals for this month? How have you been intentional? Have you been successful in your year-long goals or resolutions?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.